Thankful Being Off Balance


At Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga there was a moment when I was arching back into a modified bridge on my board. There was a great deal of wind and the water was a bit bumpy, yet somehow I still managed to find myself looking at the world from an inverted view in which the shimmering water was on top and the sun peeking through the clouds was on the bottom. I was spellbound by the beauty of the clouds in the sky, they were positioned just right to scatter the sunlight into a dozen or so bright beams of light. The clouds blocked the sun directly but still created beauty.

In my head I kept thinking back to the Anthony de Mello line from an old saying. “The nature of rain is the same, yet it grows thorns in the marshes and flowers in the garden.”

As that line was echoing through my head a slightly bigger wave of gust of wind or my own lack of coordination caused me to completely lose my balance. I barely caught myself before falling off the board and into the lake.

I took a deep breath, focused, and got back at it… with wisdom which can only be learned through trial and error.

…and that’s when it all started to slip into place.

So much of the last week has been a cycle of being balanced and the knocked off balance. Valleys followed by peaks and peaks followed by valleys. Just as I get my code centered and my feet under me there’s something else pushing me off balance. For sure, it has really frustrated the shit out of me!

In that moment on the board it all came together though. While many of the events causing the imbalance really suck, like the prospect of losing a beloved dog, they are all lessons I can learn from, events I can grow through. They still profoundly hurt, but I can be better if I learn from them.

Being knocked off balance strengthens us. Our muscles strengthen, our coordination gets smoother, and it will take a much larger or different force to knock us off again. If I remember to learn from this, to grow through this, I will be better because of it. The events that hurt and sting are the ones which can help me better balance myself in the future.

I would really appreciate some calm water, some stable ground, but if that’s not what’s presented I’ll use the experiences to grow stronger, to better close the gap between who I am and who I am called to be.


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